It's civic. It's prudent. It's objective. And--it's personal. The only choice for the all important elected office of District Attorney is: Alan Jackson. I'm strongly and whole-heartedly endorsing him for Los Angeles County District Attorney, and I am strongly and whole-heartedly hoping you will join me and vote for him next Tuesday, June 5.
I've had exchanges with every candidate, including the one who dropped out of the race. Alan Jackson is potentially the toughest prosecutor we in this tough County could possibly elect. For instance, he put Phil Spector behind bars--for good. He tries hardcore murder cases--I remember a while back that he had six going at once. He is our real felony crime prosecutor--the County's top gun when it comes to putting bad guys behind bars.
Now, don't get me wrong. I like two other candidates in the race too. I like Jackie Lacey and I like Danette Meyers. And I'm a Democrat by trade--and so are they. But I cross-over every now and then, and when I interviewed Alan Jackson last year, I couldn't help but think--this is just what this County needs. A prosecutor who actually prosecutes. Who understands what it is to work at the mercy of the people. Who walks into a courtroom expecting to win. Who is not interested in doing anything other than fighting crime.
Now, there's also an 800-lb. gorilla in this race. He doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as these other three. So let me take a double-space and deal with him too.
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Carmen Trutanich is perhaps the most ridiculous, disgraceful politician to prop himself up on Southern California's grand stage since Richard Milhous Nixon. And the example of Nixon demonstrates that we must be perpetually alert to the possibility of such rabble rising among us.
"You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore," a disgraced Senate candidate Nixon told national media here in 1962. He came back with a vengeance, to disgrace the nation.
Carmen Trutanich signed a pledge on November 24, 2008 that said: "We pledge that we will not seek any other elected position including Mayor, U.S. Congress, Attorney General or Los Angeles County District Attorney. while serving as Los Angeles City Attorney."
He lied. He is indeed seeking another elected position--a big one.
And that was just the start of the lies, bullying, strongarming, and trampling of American freedoms that began in the petty reign of Carmen Trutantich--a trampling so thorough that even the Los Angeles Times called him "LA's Mubarek."
He wanted to put a Councilmember--someone he swore to represent--in jail. He once slapped a million-dollar bail on a misdemeanor case--a higher bail than some capital criminals fetch. He sued an out-of-country bank for publicity even after he flipped a few houses of his own on the outskirts of Vegas. And he's trampled on nearly every single right of American citizens as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights--including America's most beloved freedom of speech.
I know this trampling first hand.
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A few years back, I quoted a comment at the LA Times' website that was hostile to Trutanich. One of Trutanich's deputies threatened me with a libel suit--for quoting the LA Times! (Why didn't she threaten the Times with a libel suit? I guess she thought she could more easily bully a poor blogger).
Outraged, I published her email too. And that comment I quoted is still at the Times' site, two-and-a-half years later.
This was a vast misuse of an elected official's power. It was menacing. It was meant to intimidate a journalist. It was meant to stifle a Freedom guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.
I could have likely successfully sued the city for making such a vicious, retaliatory threat. But I'm not like that. I've lived in this city all my life, and when the city wrongs me, I try to work things out.
Carmen Trutanich has never apologized for this outrageous trampling of an ordinary American freedom. Neither has John Shallman, his longtime chief political consultant. Neither has Jane Usher, the woman who issued the threat on Trutanich's behalf.
Here are a few other items I've written about Carmen Trutanich over the past three years:
Berger slams Trutanich in op-ed
David Berger, Esq. & flâneur extraordinaire, points to some hypocrisies of the City Attorney regarding billboard law enforcement, and reminds readers of the potential hazards of the ACE program.
Carmen the Clown's weekend circus in full swing
District Attorney Steve Cooley finds an action of his would-be protege "bizarre."
Nuch takes time off--to promote employee picnic
Taking advantage of a family friend on a Friday afternoon, Trutanich hops onto an AM radio sports talk show to hype an employee picnic--that's closed to the public.
Deputy City Attorney pleads: lack of time
As Council looks into the antics of the City Attorney's office, one deputy comes to court vastly unprepared--and uses her inadequate prep as a tactic.
What would he do as District Attorney?
Orlov reports that Cooley believes Trutanich is not up to the DA job.
Carmen at the Crossroads
Two potentially big stories could haunt Trutanich's campaign.
Airport Vendor Punk'd--Ek, Shallman flying high
A Nuch fundraiser also lobbies for a key vendor contract Nuch helped grease.
Carmen's office dupes LAist, KNX
The publicity craven City Attorney issues a presser rife with exaggerations and hype.
Carmen's would-be Deutsche Bank debacle
The publicity craven City Attorney sues Deutsche Bank with little chance of winning.
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But let's not make this race about Carmen Trutanich. Alan Jackson doesn't deserve that.
I'll never forget how, in the middle of a ferocious interview in which I was asking Jackson very tough questions, he saw that I was running out of space on my p-slips. (Yes, I take notes the old fashioned way. Rick Orlov takes shorthand and I don't know shorthand but I've invented my own kind of zippy hieroglyphs over the years).
And Alan Jackson saw that I was running out of space on my p-slips and asked, "Do you need some more paper?"
Right then and there, I was sold. This man is looking out for others. He's anxious to be accommodating, even as anxious as he is to put hardcore criminals behind bars. I'll bet I could call him a name in print and he wouldn't even bat an eye.
How much unlike Carmen Trutanich--a petty street-thug who wants to hit you with a libel suit for reprinting a comment that appeared on the LA Times' website.
I don't make endorsements very often. I haven't made one in three years. As an opinion writer, I generally don't do it unless something has gone very wrong.
Alas, something has indeed gone very wrong. But also--the fact that's something's gone very wrong has nothing to do with the extraordinary capabilities of Alan Jackson. And that's why I encourage you to vote for Alan Jackson for Los Angeles County District Attorney June 5.